Therapist: Online Relationships Real, But Not Healthy
An Indiana therapist says relationships where people have never met or seen each other are very real, but are not healthy relationships.
Therapist Carol Juergensen Sheets, known as Carol the Coach, says it is very common for people to develop relationships via the internet or by phone with people that they've never seen and there are people who deliberately mislead people into those types of relationships. Sheets says people who fall prey to believing that they are in a serious relationship with someone they've never met have issues distinguishing between reality and illusion. By the same token, she says those who intentionally mislead people into a ficticious relationship are filled with anger and revenge because they can't develop healthy relationships on their own.
Carol the Coach says internet dating sites are a great way to meet people but that meeting should only be the beginning. After a few weeks, she says efforts should be made to meet that person face-to-face and spend time in the traditional dating sense getting to know each other, meeting friends and family, and spending quality time together. Sheets says that is the only way to truly know someone and to determine if the relationship has a future.
She says if the person repeatedly refuses to meet face-to-face or makes up excuses, then that's a red flag that they are hiding something and it's time to move on to someone else.